Academy City Series

Anime Hajime Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun S

More from the Academy City series:

Original Run: April 12, 2013 - September 27, 2013
Number of Episodes: 24
Genre: Action, Comedy, Science Fiction
Based on the Series Created By: Kazuma Kamachi

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for A Scientific Railgun S. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Academy City isn’t the easiest place to live. Sometimes, science’s aspirations don’t know where to draw the line; morality is often stuck in a gray zone.

Despite this, Academy City’s filled with remarkable individuals. Among them is the legendary Level 5 electro-master known as the Railgun. But to her friends, she’s Mikoto Misaka (voiced by Rina Sato).

Through hard work and dedication, Mikoto has become a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the road getting to this point hasn’t been the smoothest. Some of her most naive mistakes are ready to come back and haunt her.

However, Mikoto’s upcoming struggles are not ones she needs to face alone. The same determination that strengthened her power has also given her an unbreakable group of friends. Mikoto will need every bit of help if she hopes to save those important to her.

Series Positives

The timeline to the Academy City franchise is confusing as hell. If it only relied on the A Certain Magical Index (Index) series’ strength, I may have given up a long time ago. Fortunately, that’s where A Certain Scientific Railgun (Railgun) comes in.

Index I and II – especially Index II – were convoluted and too big for their own good. Although I did enjoy them both, as the Index storyline continued, it failed to establish a focus.

Shoving as much detail as possible into a story doesn’t make it good. Instead, it leads to there being a ton of dead weight. When there’s so much going on, it’s hard to give your attention to everything.

There’s nothing wrong with starting small. No rule says everything has to be grand right out the gate. A story should build up its world and character. When there’s an understanding of how things work, it’s easier to get invested in the plot.

This is the difference between Index and Railgun.

In Railgun and Railgun S, yes, a lot went down. However, there was a clear progression between events. Not everything had to happen at once. In the entirety of the Railgun series, across both seasons, there were only four significant problems. The rest of the time was spent establishing why those problems were critical.

The endings of Railgun S and Index II could not be more different. Railgun S took everything it built up and put it on the line. It made everything that happened feel like it mattered.

The final battle was exciting, intense, nail-biting, and pretty damn cool too. Was it big, was it grand, was it over the top? Yes, and Railgun earned it.

Series Negatives

I won’t hide what I did. The Positive section of this review was just me explaining why I think Railgun is the superior series. If you want a more detailed explanation of what was good about Railgun S, read the last review.

That said, the original Railgun was stronger.

Of the two story arcs in this season, only the second felt like a Railgun arc. The first was pulled straight from Index. Am I saying it was inspired by Index? No, it was literally lifted from Index – the Misaka clones’ plotline.

Admittedly, the Misaka clone arc fit so much better here Railgun S than it did in Index. This series gave us more context and filled in many of the gaps.

As for an actual negative against Railgun S, we need to make two assumptions.

First, let’s assume a person has only seen the Railgun series. Well, Railgun S expects the audience to have watched the Index series.

Many details in Railgun S were left unsaid. For instance, we got a lot more backstory on Accelerator (voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto). This was perfect for those who have seen the entire Academy City franchise. But for someone who has only seen Railgun, this would appear pointless.

Second, let’s assume someone has seen the entire franchise. Railgun S repeated many of the things that have already been shown. When you’re waiting for new information and not getting any, it’s hard not mindlessly skip through episodes.

You could say that Index was the biggest negative to Railgun. Unfortunately, that would let this series off the hook a little too much.

Final Thoughts

This was a great sequel.

The same characters you’ve come to know and love returned. The story was on point and only focused on what was important. This show even improved on Index’s best moments.

Although all of the Academy City is worth watching, I do have my preference.

A Certain Scientific Railgun S has earned a recommendation.

But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise A Certain Scientific Railgun S? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

More From The Academy City Series

A Certain Magical Index

Anime Hajime Review: A Certain Magical Index
Anime Hajime Review: A Certain Magical Index II
Anime Hajime Review: A Certain Magical Index III

A Certain Scientific Railgun

Anime Hajime Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun
Anime Hajime Review: A Certain Scientific Railgun T

A Certain Scientific Accelerator

Anime Hajime Review: A Certain Scientific Accelerator

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